Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Stem-cell transplant did not work, New Zealand patient says

A 64-year-old New Zealand woman with motor neurone disease who received controversial stem cell implants in March in China says the procedure failed, news reports said Tuesday.
Willie Terpstra reported immediate improvement in her condition when she returned from Beijing, but now says: 'I would not do it again. It cost too much money, and the result is not good.'
Two million stem cells from aborted foetuses were inserted into her brain in an operation that is banned in most Western countries.
Soon after, she was able to eat and drink properly for the first time in months, but the Daily Post in her home town of Rotorua said that now she cannot talk, is being fed by a tube inserted in her stomach, has difficulty sleeping and is resigned to dying from the fatal condition.
Using an electronic keyboard connected to a speaking machine, she told a reporter that she had kept in touch with patients she met at the Beijing hospital, and that no one who had similar surgery had improved while two had died.
She was the first New Zealander known to have undergone the implant surgery.

One of the most disturbing aspects of this situtation is the amount of press that Dr. Hongyun Huang received before and during this particular procedure. He is nothing more than a snake-oil salesman preying upon the hope of people who are truly suffering. It is thoroughly unconscionable and the press ought to be ashamed of themselves for their role in the promotion of this doctor.